A lot is written about bodybuilding and fitness. Most of it centers on proper training methods, supplementation programs, and nutrition. However, there is one other very crucial element to the success or failure of your goals when it comes to building or changing your body; the mental aspect of it all.
The positive mindset is an extremely powerful and valuable thing. Yet it seems like it hardly gets covered when discussing training.
Think about it for a minute. What usually separates people from good to great? When you consider football and an amazing player like Jerry Rice who holds around 40 records or similar players in other sports, what is it that made them so great? Many people would say talent and genetics, but that isn’t always the case. Jerry Rice, for example, was a good athlete but there were plenty of players that were faster, taller, stronger, or could jump higher.
The same thing can be said about bodybuilding. Looking back at pictures of very successful people like Arnold Schwarzenegger or Ronnie Coleman as teenagers, there was nothing that jumped out about them compared to numerous other people.
So what was the deciding factor that turned good into great? It has and always will be the mental aspect.
Inside the Mind
Anyone can go to the gym and workout. You can go to the gym right now and rack up some weight on the squat bar and crank out 5 or 6 hard sets with some heavy weight. But do you think that the level of intensity you bring to that set would compare to an elite athlete? More than likely it doesn’t.
That is what separates people between good and great. The ability to dial it in, give 110% focus, and then 110% effort every time. Think about all of those stories you hear about people who ‘had so much potential’ but things don’t pan out. Then think about the underdog stories of people who never gave up. That is the difference that each person who is serious about improving themselves needs to think about.
Then you need to decide which person you want to be.
In the world of bodybuilding there is a phrase, “Intensity leads to immensity.” That ability to become a warrior, obtain that unstoppable mindset, and do everything within your power to reach your goals is completely mental.
It is a combination of being maniacal and self-confident. You know that by giving it everything you have you will reach those goals. You don’t hold anything back because of fear of failure.
Honestly it doesn’t matter of you have the perfect diet and a great workout program to follow. You will never achieve greatness unless you have the right mindset each time you hit the gym. Things like self-doubt, fear, and apprehensiveness ruin workouts.
Think of things people tell themselves before heading to the gym. “It was a long day at work today so I will probably not have a good workout.” “I am kind of tired so maybe I will just go easy today.” “I’m just not feeling it.” If you really feel like that then why the heck did you even go to the gym? There are no rewards for showing up. That just appeases your feelings, but it shouldn’t.
If you aren’t prepared then take the day off and get prepared. Then when you hit the gym go for 110%, not 70% and an excuse. Excuses don’t build champions.
Mental Focus Tips
So how can you keep your head in the game to transform lackluster performances into dominating ones? Some people prefer different things, but here are some common ways to help out.
- Morning Review -Take 5 minutes to yourself each morning. Don’t make excuses about time…set your alarm earlier. Go to a private place and sit there just thinking about what you want and what your goals are. Remind yourself of why you are doing it, that you can do it, and what you will accomplish for the day.
- Pre-Workout Check – Before you even head to the gym take a minute for an honest assessment. How was your diet today? Did you get enough rest? How does your body feel? Are you ready to give it everything you have? This is something to do when taking in a pre-workout snack or supplements. If you really are overly tired or sore then acknowledge and adapt at that point.
- Pre-Workout Visualization – This is great to do in the car outside the gym. Close your eyes and walk through your workout in your head. Imagine what you will be doing and visualize how you will attack the weights and push your body to new levels. Get dialed in before you even walk through the doors.
- Workout Music – Use an iPod or other player and keep a variety of workout mixes with music that gets you going. When you hit the gym crank up the music to drown out distractions and then turn your visualization into reality.
- Between Set Focus – Ask yourself between sets, did I just give 110%? If not think about why, push aside excuses, and hit the next set harder. Intensity is a practiced skill, not something you are born with.
You need to go out and make it happen. The only person who can stop you is you, so learn not to hold yourself back and instead let loose each and every time.